Effect of changes in hook pattern and size on catch rate, hooking location, injury and bleeding for a number of tropical reef fish species

  • Published source details Mapleston A., Welch D., Begg G.A., McLennan M., Mayer D. & Brown I. (2008) Effect of changes in hook pattern and size on catch rate, hooking location, injury and bleeding for a number of tropical reef fish species. Fisheries Research, 91, 203-211.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use a different hook type

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Use a different hook type

    A replicated, controlled study in 2005 of four shallow coral reef areas in the Coral Sea, eastern Australia (Mapleston et al. 2008) found that changing hook size, but not hook type, reduced catch rates of non-target and target fish species, and there were reductions in hooking injuries with different hooks, compared to conventional J-type hooks used in a commercial line fishery. Across all fish species (five targeted and three non-targeted), catch rates were lower with large sized hooks (2.2 fish/0.5 h) than small (2.9 fish/0.5 h), and there were no differences between hook designs (offset circle: 2.5, non-offset circle: 2.8, J hook: 2.3 fish/0.5 h). Individually, catch rates of two species were lower using large hooks, and catch rate of one species was lower with both circle hook types than J-hooks (see original paper for species individual data). For all eight species combined, the percentage of fish caught with hooking injuries was reduced with non-offset circle hooks (non-offset circle: 3.7%, offset circle: 6.9%, J hook: 7.8%) and small hook sizes (small: 3.9%, large: 9.0%). Fishing trials took place on four research vessels (25 fishing sessions) during January–October 2005 within the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland (9–50 m depths). A total of six hooks were tested each session: size 4/0 and 8/0 J hooks, 5/0 and 8/0 offset (by 12°) circle hooks, and 5/0 and 8/0 non-offset circle hooks. Fishers were randomly assigned a hook-type at the start of a session and each hook was fished for 30 minutes in a sequential order, baited with pilchard. Captured fish were identified, counted and recorded as injured or uninjured.

    (Summarised by: Chris Barrett)

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